Lambda Legal urges state appeals court to uphold ruling against anti-LGBTQ bakery

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PORTLAND, Ore. — On Friday, Lambda Legal called on the Oregon Court of Appeals once again to affirm its 2017 opinion on a ruling by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) that the owners of a Portland-area bakery violated the state’s nondiscrimination statutes when they refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.

Lambda Legal said the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the Court of Appeals’ 2017 ruling this past June and asked that court to reconsider its decision in light of the Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in favor of a Colorado baker in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

The Oregon bakery refused to bake the cake claiming doing so violated the owners’ religious beliefs.

“Two years ago, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued a thorough and thoughtful decision that recognized our precious freedoms of religion and speech are not licenses to ostracize LGBT people as second-class pariahs,” said Jennifer C. Pizer, senior counsel and director of law and policy at Lambda Legal, in a press release. “Nothing has changed, except perhaps that those who seek to use their constitutional rights to harm others by exempting themselves from civil rights laws may feel emboldened.”

The case is Klein dba Sweetcakes by Melissa v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. Read Lambda Legal’s friend-of-the-court brief filed in the Oregon Court of Appeals on behalf of Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer here: https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/or_klein_20190920_supple…

Lambda Legal included the Bowman-Cryers’ story in the friend-of-the-court brief it submitted in 2017 to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of itself and 12 other organizations in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Read that brief here: https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/us_masterpiece-cakes_201…

Lambda Legal Senior Counsel and Law & Policy Director Jennifer C. Pizer is representing Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer with local co-counsel Paul Thompson of Kivel & Howard LLP in Portland, Oregon.

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